Tibet Question

  • Elizabeth Van Wie Davis


Riots in Lhasa began on Monday, March 10, 2008 when hundreds of Tibetan monks took to the streets to mark the 49th anniversary of the failed uprising that ended in the Dalai Lama leaving Tibet in 1959.1 This coincided with the Party’s annual meeting of the National People’s Congress in Beijing. The 14th Dalai Lama announced to supporters and reporters in Dharamsala, India that day: “During the past few years, Tibet has witnessed increased repression and brutality.”2 More Tibetan monks demonstrated the following day, demanding the release of sixty arrested monks. The People’s Armed Police (PAP) troops fired tear gas to disperse the protesters. By Friday afternoon, March 14, 2008 the protesters clashed with and stoned local police near Ramogia Monastery in downtown Lhasa. China Central Television (CCTV) aired lengthy footage in its evening news on Saturday, March 15, showing rioters setting fire to police and civilian vehicles, chasing passers-by and smashing shops and banks. Tibetans torched buildings, including the city’s main mosque, and attacked members of China’s dominant Han ethnic group and Muslims, who dominate commerce in the city. Thousands of antiriot police and armored vehicles were deployed to control the situation.3


Tibet Autonomous Region Nobel Peace Prize Armored Vehicle Diaspora Community Tibet Railway 
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  1. 10.
    Christopher I. Beckwith, The Tibetan Empire in Central Asia (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1987), 165–7.Google Scholar
  2. 11.
    Melvyn C. Goldstein, A History of Modern Tibet: The Demise of the Lamaist State (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1991), 44.Google Scholar
  3. 20.
    Zhou Yuan, “Independence in Disguise,” China Security 4, no. 2 (Spring 2008), 39.Google Scholar
  4. 21.
    Zhou Yuan, “Tibet: Traditional Culture, Modernization and Others,” in Cultural Self-Consciousness and Social Development—Proceedings of the World Forum on the Chinese Culture of the Twenty-First Century (Hong Kong: Commercial Press, 2003).Google Scholar
  5. 31.
    See Office of the State Council, National Minorities Policy and its Practice in China, September 1999, Part 1.A.Google Scholar
  6. 32.
    Michael C. Davis, “Establishing a Workable Autonomy in Tibet,” Human Rights Quarterly, 30 (2008), 227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 47.
    Regarding Tibet’s historical links to the CIA, see Carole McGranahan, “Tibet’s Cold War: The CIA and the Chushi Gang Drug Resistance, 1956–1974,” Journal of Cold War Studies 8, no. 3 (Summer 2006), 102–30; and Jim Mann, “Intervention Gone Sour: The CIA’s Tibet File,” Los Angeles Times, June 16, 1999, A5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 50.
    Kenneth Conboy and James Morrison, The CIA’s Secret War in Tibet, (Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 2002).Google Scholar
  9. 52.
    John Kenneth Knaus, “Official Policies and Covert Programs: The US State Department, the CIA, and the Tibetan Resistance,” Journal of Cold War Studies 5, no. 3 (2003), 78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Elizabeth Van Wie Davis 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Van Wie Davis
    • 1
  1. 1.Colorado School of MinesUSA

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